As far as debut novels go, The Touch of Her Voice is an outstanding example of why I love taking a chance on new authors. A fantastic story; refreshing, well crafted and emotional, this was a story just waiting to be told.
I found the style of storytelling compellingly different – it was this aspect which quickly drew me in. The story is told as a first person point of view of the main character, Jensy Willett as she meets her soulmate, Sophie Barnes for the very first time. The initial chapters cover over a decade of Jensy and Sophie’s life together, a concept which might sound rushed, but on the page it totally works, and really serves to enhance and imbed the premise of their relationship. Whilst Scott keeps the first few chapters succinct, she simultaneously ensures that they provide the source of the main characters’ depth and initial growth.
The plot follows Jensy a basketball coach, counsellor and teacher, and Sophie a lawyer, as they meet, fall in love and surpass other key milestones in their individual and combined life’s. But in all the years they’ve spent together and out of fear of history repeating itself, there’s something Jensy has never told Sophie. And when that secret makes its presence known, it sets off a chain reaction with devastating consequences.
I rolled onto my back and gazed at her. Tears glistened in her eyes. “I may not have been your first” she whispered, “but, God, how I want to be your last.”Sara Scott, The Touch of Her Voice
In the telling of Jensy and Sophie’s story, Scott delves deeply into the topic of infidelity, exploring and exposing its intricate and complex nature and the far reaching emotional toil exacted upon all those involved. Whilst many readers of Sapphic fiction do not like the presence of infidelity in stories, the examination of this topic is the core of Jensy and Sophie’s journey. Scott does an excellent job of really digging into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of both Jensy and Sophie as they traverse the most difficult part of their lives thus far.
As they try, again, and again, to find a path through the wreckage of their relationship, the terminal illness of a one time lover, and the attention of a predatory work colleague applies even more pressure to the remnants of their once infallible love. Are those scattered parts strong enough too find their way back to each other?
In addition to infidelity, when learning about Sophie’s family, the cost of homophobia from ones own family becomes apparent. Highlighting that whilst it’s possible, given the right amount of space and time to make inroads with some people, for others it will be a battle that can never be won.
The Touch of Her Voice, is a beautiful, evocative piece of literature which compels you to not only feel, deeply and honestly the characters emotions, but also to try and truly understand their actions, thoughts and feelings regardless of your opinion. There are parts of this book that will make you heart soar and ache with equal measure, from the intense rush of discovering your soulmate, to the guilt and regret in being their source of heartbreak and anguish.
As I mentioned at that start, it’s baffling that this is a debut novel – with this as a starting point, the future potential of Sarah Scott will be without bounds and she will certainly be an author I keep an eye on. The back cover of The Touch of Her Voice reveals that this is the first in a trilogy – I know what I’ll be looking out for next; I’m super excited to continue Jensy and Sophie’s story.
I received a copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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